(201) 996-9100 Bergen / (201) 533-4407 Hudson

hipcil Newsletter Winter Spring 2024


hipcil Holiday Party – New Location, Same Holiday Fun!

While it rained outside on the afternoon of Sunday, December 10th, the ballroom at The Elan in Lodi was warm, inviting, and festive for the hipcil holiday party. The room was beautifully decorated for the holidays and filled to the brim with over 130 hipcil consumers, staff, board members and friends.

The attendees danced, socialized, and enjoyed a delicious 4-course plated meal, complete with cake and holiday treats. Prizes from many generous donors were given to the lucky winners and the 50/50 take home was a whopping $248!

Longtime hipcil friend Christopher Gagliardi closed out the party by gracing everyone with his lovely voice, singing “Silent Night.” We hope everyone had a very happy holiday season and a wonderful start to 2024!

From the Desk of the President:e

In my job it is critical for me to remain up to date on current trends, legislative issues, member concerns and the opinions that are being voiced by our constituents. In my early years as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor my interviews focused on an individual’s knowledge, skills, and abilities to learn the most about their career ambitions, desired environment, and job goals. Together the consumer and I would develop a plan with employment as the goal based on all the collected information.

Lately I’ve been hearing the term “lived experience” which essentially gathers all the aspects of a person’s life and what they are currently presenting to the world. Decisions are made based on what has gone before and what is anticipated in the future. We are trying to build programs and develop activities based on the needs and preferences of the people we serve in the hipcil family. We want to provide meaningful experiences that will capitalize on the progress that we have made to be fully included in our community.

Let’s declare 2024 as our year to be full participants in our surroundings by attending a community event, interacting with our neighbors, and most importantly exercising our right to vote to live the Independent Living experience, “Nothing about us without us”.

Brian Fitzgibbons

Cooking Corner. Seriously, The Best Healthy Turkey Chili

Healthy turkey chili made with lean ground turkey, kidney beans and corn. This famous recipe is perfectly spiced, packed with plenty of protein and fiber, and is simply the BEST. Make it on the stovetop or in your slow cooker for an easy, delicious weeknight dinner.

• 2 teaspoons olive oil,
• 1 yellow onion, chopped,
• 3 garlic cloves, minced,
• 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped,
• 1 pound extra lean ground turkey or chicken (99%),
• 4 tablespoons chili powder* (I used McCormick chili powder, which is very mild. Do not use spicy chili powder, and if using a different brand, start with 2 tablespoons),
• 2 teaspoons ground cumin,
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano,
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper,
• 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste,
• 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes or crushed tomatoes,
• 1 1/4 cups chicken broth;
• 2 (15 oz) cans dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained;
• 1 (15 oz) can sweet corn, rinsed and drained;
• For topping: cheese, avocado, tortilla chips, cilantro, sour cream;


Place oil in a large pot and place over medium high heat. Add in onion, garlic and red pepper and sauté for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add in ground turkey and break up the meat; cooking until no longer pink. Next add in chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper and salt; stir for about 20 seconds.

Next add in tomatoes, chicken broth, kidney beans and corn. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes or until chili thickens and flavors come together. Taste and adjust seasonings and salt as necessary.

Garnish with anything you’d like. Makes 6 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each.

Serving: 1.5cups ,
Calories: 336cal,
Carbohydrates: 46.7g ,
Protein: 31.8g,
Fat: 3.7g ,
Fiber: 17.4g,
Sugar: 9.5g.

(Recipe courtesy of https://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/seriously-the-best-healthy-turkey-chili/)

Thank you, Maria!

After 22 years of working at hipcil, Maria Valentin retired in January. She ran many programs at the Bergen office, including Leadership, Advocacy, Education and Determination (LEAD) years ago, the Modification Access Project (MAP), Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP), and was always the 50/50 raffle go-to at hipcil events! All of us at hipcil thank you for your hard work and send best wishes for a future filled with lots of beach time!

Did You Know? …

• 6.1% of American children are being treated for ADHD with medication.

• An estimated 25.7 million adults are limited in their usual activities because of arthritis. That number is expected to grow to 35 million by 2040.
(cdc.gov, Center for Disease Control)

• As many as 28% of children born to a parent with fibromyalgia will eventually develop the disease, according to a Centers for Disease Control in 2009 study.

• Approximately 15% of American adults (37.5 million) aged 18 and over report some trouble hearing.

• Children have a 50% chance of having dyslexia if one parent has it, and a 100% chance if both parents have it.

Update on the Women’s Group.

The Women’s Group is back! On the first Thursday of every month at the Bergen hipcil office, we host some wonderful ladies for activities that are new, fun and exciting every time! We play BINGO, paint pictures, unscramble puzzles, make crafts and more from 11am-1pm. To learn more or to sign up, please call 201-996-9100 ext. 29 for Blagica or ext. 24 for Meaghan. We look forward to having you join us!

Thank you to all who donated door prizes for our holiday party! Your donations were a huge highlight of the evening.

John’s Crazy Socks;
Stop & Shop;
Simon Styles;
Turning Point;
Cheesecake Factory;
Kendra Scott;
NY Jets;
Eileen Fisher;
Young Living- Johanna Marto;
Marija Jankuloska;
Wyckoff Family YMCA;
Tonielle Luceen Michele Cardinalle

hipcil Thanks…

hipcil receives many contributions from individuals and the community throughout the year. We thank the following for their recent exceptional generosity:

Lottie Esteban and family;
Jerome Saunders in Memory of Beth Shapiro Steele;
Shapiro Family Foundation;
Karen McDowell;
Annie Been

We’ll Miss You, Trisha!

After working at hipcil for over 10 years, Trisha Ebel is moving on! She has been a valued member of both the Bergen and Hudson staff, working with Adjustment to Vision Loss consumers during peer support groups and events. We’ll miss you, Trisha! Best of luck in your future endeavors!

The Importance of our Annual Meeting.

hipcil is a non-profit organization holding a 501c3 designation and we follow specific guidelines to ensure compliance. One of our mandates is to hold an Annual Meeting 45 days after the close of the Federal Fiscal year. We have made that a tradition in our event schedule. This year we gathered our members, staff and Board of Trustee officers and met to discuss our achievements from the prior year and share our plans for the coming year. This year’s meeting was held at the Hackensack Recreation Center, where we enjoyed a light supper, ratified the Board members for the second half of their two-year term, reviewed our accomplishments and heard how our featured guest Kyle Kreske overcame significant barriers to earn his counseling degree.

Perhaps the best part of the evening was that it gave our members the chance to meet, renew old acquaintances and tell the hipcil leadership what type of programing they want to see us sponsor for the future.

As always, our consumers want to have more opportunities to meet for social events, field trips and seminars. We agree, so we are planning our 2024 to include:

• Monthly meetings of the Adjustment to Vision Loss groups in Secaucus and North Arlington
• Renewed hipcil Humpday Happenings – monthly Zoom meetings
• The Caregivers Group
• The Women’s Group
• Summer Picnic
• Fall Fun Festival
• A festive Gala in the Fall

Feel to add to this list by writing to us at hipcilnj@gmail.com

Opportunity to Share Your Experience

hipcil is pleased to be collaborating with researchers at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) to understand the impact of Long COVID on employment for people with disabilities.  In the spring of 2024, the researchers at UNH will hold two virtual focus groups to allow them to speak to workers or former adult workers with disabilities who have Long COVID to understand their employment-related experiences.  The focus groups will run for one hour and will include 5-8 adults with disabilities and Long COVID from around the country. The results will help federal, state, and other partners better support employment outcomes for people with disabilities who have Long COVID. Stay tuned for more information about this opportunity to share your story this spring!

We Welcome the Following New and Renewing Members of hipcil for 2024!

You can become a member of hipcil for 2024! For a membership form visit our website at www.hipcil.org/membership or call one of our offices!

Jeanne Aimone
Roselyn Altman*
Kevin Angelini
Elaine Appellof*
Carl & Janice Arnold
Paul Aronsohn*
Deborah Baumann-DaSilva
Annie Been
Joanna Benthall
Darrell & Tamiko Bethea*
Jerry Bojko
Mario Brusco
George & Mildred Bullerdick
Brenda & Jerry Calabrese
Daniel Calabrese
Tonielle Cardinalle
Mary G. Carney
Tom & Susan Carney
Trish Carney*
Kay Chase*
Elizabeth Cohen-Hittner
Rezena Colclough
Barbara B. Comerford, Esq. *+
Michael & Marie Cook*
Sonia Cordova-Chumpitaz
Jim & Jean Csaposs*
Mary Culver
Howard Craig Cutler
Carol Dass*
Martha DeYoung
James F. Dougherty
Barbara Dublin*
Dennis Dusevic
Patricia & Dave Ebel*
Austin Epstein
Lottie Esteban*
Oria Estrada
Stella Fellinger
William Fellinger*
Betty Fetzer*
Brian Fitzgibbons*
Virginia Flynn & Warren Williams
Gerardine Galvin
Laurie C. Galvin
Marily Gonzalez*
Patricia Guy
Harries Family
Elizabeth Bojane Heap
Dana Hemmings
Rick Hodgman*
Michelle Jones
Geraldine Kearns
Timothy Kerr
Joan F. Klug*
John Koch*
Lorena & Ana Kos
Diane LaForge*
Jeanne Laraia
Virginia L. Laughlin
Louise Lee
Susan & Kin Lee
Jay Levene
Marion Levine
Chili Li*
Gloria Lieberstein*
Roy Lippin*
Margaret Lusch
Joyce & Leonard Malech*
Diukesma/Dinky Padron-Marrero
Joan Martorella
Dora Meler
Ann Melone*
Abby G. Mesce
Dr. Frances Meyer*
Latoya Miller
John Mulholland
Sonia Noel
Gloria Ortiz
Margaret Papageorgiou
Chris Paraskevacos
Naaisha Pettiford
Richard Pietrzak
Marianne Pigoncelli*
Anne Marie Prendergast
Cecelia Ragland
Carmen N. Reyes
Cruz Rodriguez
Beverly & Richard Ryan*
Stephanie Seid
Doug Simon, CEO Mobility Elevator*+
Chandravati Singh
Maria E. Smith
Michael Smith*
Dana Solomon
Jeffrey St. Germain & Family*
John Stanik*
Mary S. Thornton
Janet Tolliver & Joseph Molee
Alberto & Ivis Trejo
Danny Vaca
Carol Viceconte*
Ron Vida
Anne Burton Walsh*
Philip & Linda Webster-Cennerazzo*
Joan & Richard Wechsler
Janice Willet*
Sharon Womack
Anthony Yorio*
Maureen Zurlo


bergenPAC Arts Access Program

hipcil is thrilled to continue being a part of the bergenPAC Arts Access Program! This program makes tickets for specific shows at the bergenPAC in Englewood available to our members free of charge. For more information on the Arts Access Program, call or email Jayne at 201-996-9100 ext. 21 or jjacobs@hipcil.org.

We Mourn…

Our hipcil family recently lost the following:
Laurel Seidler
Lillian Oliver
Barbara Brave
Joseph Ruffalo
Jane Valenti
Phillip Gauran
William Appleman
Richard Touma
Astro (beloved Seeing Eye dog of staff member Trisha Ebel)
Noel O’Malley

Updated Calendar of Events

hipcil Calendar of Events

AVL Support Group Meetings
Secaucus 10am (Meets at Secaucus Public Library)
March 8
April 12

Jersey City 10am (Meets at 5 Corners Library)
March 28
April 25

North Arlington 11am – 1pm (Meets at 214 Ridge Road, North Arlington)
March 12
April 9

Washington Township/Fort Lee 11am
Every Wednesday via Conference Call

Women’s Support Group
March 7 April 4

Virtual Book Club Conference Call

We’d like to invite everybody to join the book club! Come and have some fun, read some good books, and meet some new people. It’s very easy, just pick up the phone dial 945-218-0051 Access 426-6427# and you are part of the group! If you have any questions, please call Marie at 973-777-2006.
Dates TBD (always once a month)
March Book – Tom Lake by Ann Patchett
April Book – Switchboard Soldiers by Jennifer Chiaverini

Caregiver Support Group via Zoom
Dates TBD (one Tuesday evening each month)

hipcil Humpday Happenings is Back!
Every other Wednesday at 6pm via Zoom – contact Meaghan at 201-996-9100 ext. 24 to sign up!

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